By Grant Flood Over the past week, college football has lost two of their brightest stars for the season opting out due to Covid-19, Georgia Bulldogs quarterback, Jamie Newman and Oregon Ducks left tackle, Penei Sewell. Both players will be eligible in the 2021 NFL draft but the opt out will have more of an effect on Newman after redshirting in 2016-17 as he transferred from Wake Forest to Georgia this offseason. Many projected Newman to truly break out and move up from a three-star recruit. As for Sewell, he was and still is projected to be a top 5 pick in the draft after he had done an impressive job protecting then Ducks quarterback and now Los Angeles Chargers rookie, Justin Herbert. Sewell has been compared to Tennessee Titans left tackle, Taylor Lewan, a 3 time Pro Bowler, news like this is a morale booster to the 19 year old junior.
The 6’4”, 230 lb Newman played solid in 2019, finishing 5th in passes completed with 220, 60.9% completion rate, 8th best and 26 passing touchdowns, 3rd best along with 574 rushing yards with 6 touchdowns coming on the ground, he could become a great dual threat quarterback at the professional level based on these statistics.
Sewell had a spectacular 2019 campaign winning two awards, a 2019 Consensus All-America and the 2019 John Outland Trophy. There are very little imperfections with the 6’6”, 330 lb stonewall tackle, he allowed only one sack in 1,376 snaps in the past two seasons. Impressive!
There are several candidates for the starting gig for the Bulldogs, a three way toss up between Carson Beck, freshman, D’wan Mathis, freshman and Stetson Bennett, junior. The five star quarterback, J.T. Daniels, sophomore recovering from a torn ACL back in 2019 should be ready for the 2021 season. As for the Ducks, right tackle, Steven Jones, sophomore who has backed up Sewell in 2018 is the prime choice for the starting job. These will be big shoes to fill!
Other notable players who have opted out this month are Penn State Nittany Lions tight end, Pat Freiermuth, California Golden Bears cornerback, Camryn Bynum, Syracuse Orange running backs, Adbul Adams and Jarveon Howard, Stanford Cardinal offensive tackle,Walker Little and lastly, Oregon Ducks cornerback, Deommodore Lenoir.